Why Air Conditioning Is Essential for Your Home Recording Studio

There’s lots to consider when setting up a home recording studio–equipment, layout, soundproofing and more–so it can be easy to overlook air conditioning. Whether you’re a budding singer-songwriter, or a full time musician, choosing the right air conditioning solution for your home studio will have a huge positive effect on your creative output, maintenance of your equipment, and recorded sound quality. Following these tips will help to you create a cool, calm, quiet studio that’s ready to record masterpieces.

Prevent equipment damage

Recording equipment can produce a lot of heat, and if you’re already located in a warm climate then a room can very quickly become hot. High temperatures can damage electrical equipment, causing it to run more slowly or break. Save yourself a fortune on replacing expensive electronics by managing the temperature carefully. A high quality air conditioning unit located in the same room as your equipment will be a lifesaver.

Instruments like guitars can also suffer in conditions that are too hot or humid. Heat can cause the wood to warp or crack, affecting the shape of the neck and body and producing an inferior quality sound. Too much humidity can lead to swelling at the top of the body, changing the tone of the instrument. Choosing an air conditioning unit which allows you to regulate the temperature and humidity of the room will keep everything working in optimum condition.

Cool spaces quietly

A loud machine like a fan will ruin your recordings with its constant whirring noise. By choosing an air conditioning unit instead, you will be able to maintain the quiet needed for quality sound recording.  Silent air conditioning systems are very effective, but can be expensive. Try to consider your needs. If you’ll be using the studio for recording very regularly, then a silent air conditioner will be a worthwhile investment.

If you record only occasionally as a hobby, then purchasing a more cost effective, but louder unit that can be switched off during recording should be adequate. You may also choose to keep your air conditioning unit in the equipment room, separate from the recording area of the studio.

Increase artist comfort

Whether you’re in the recording chair, or behind the mixing desk, overheating is no fun. Being too warm can prevent you from concentrating and damage the quality of your work. It’s unhealthy to spend long periods of time in rooms which are too hot, but taking regular breaks can disrupt your creative flow. A well-placed air conditioning unit solves all of these problems, leaving you free to express your musical talents without any discomfort or disruptions.

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4 Intelligent Blind Materials For Hot And Humid Kitchens

Your kitchen is the hardest working room in your home because of the amount of heat and humidity drawn through the process of cooking. All materials used in the kitchen need to be able to withstand this heat and humidity for long periods, including your window treatments. Irrespective of your kitchen style, here are some intelligent materials for window blinds in hot and humid kitchens.

Faux Wood

Faux wood is perhaps the most intelligent material choice for kitchen window blinds because they simulate the elegance of real wood, but are far easier to maintain and much more economical in price. Faux wood blinds are a mixture of synthetic plastic like PVC and composite wood. With this synthetic mixture, faux wood blinds are able to withstand heat and moisture without warping, fading or any other damage –– making them excellent applications for your kitchen windows.

Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) Blinds

Made from high-grade plastic, PVC blinds are incredibly popular in hot and humid kitchens because they are resistant to extreme moisture, humidity and temperature fluctuations. They remain strong and durable despite the harsh surrounding environment, so you won’t have to worry about warping or splitting. PVC blinds are simple to clean, requiring only soap water and a cloth for wiping. Stains and moisture can typically be wiped off without any trouble, making them highly durable choices for your kitchens. These types of blinds come in a multitude of colours and styles, so you can choose something that tides in best with your existing kitchen décor.

Aluminium Blinds

Unlike steel and other types of metal, aluminium is resistant to rust and corrosion, making this material an excellent choice for your kitchen window blinds. Aluminium blinds are sturdy and durable, while providing excellent light and heat control. Apart from being long lasting and stain resistant, aluminium blinds are fairly economical. If you’re looking for a maintenance free solution for your kitchen windows, aluminium blinds make excellent choices.

Vinyl Blinds

Vinyl blinds are ideal materials for kitchens because of their low maintenance properties. The material can easily be wiped clean with soap water and a cloth, so stains are unlikely to remain on them, unlike other materials. The synthetic material makes them impervious to extreme heat generated while cooking in your kitchen. With a myriad of patterns and shades available, you can choose vertical or horizontal vinyl blinds based on your specific taste. 

Kitchen window blinds need special care because of the extreme levels of heat and humidity in the space. Consider these intelligent blind materials to give your kitchen a flourishing finish.

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Simple Tips On Removing Creases From New Curtains

When you buy lovely, new ready-made curtains, it can be very annoying to find them full of creases when you unpack them.  Fortunately, removing creases and wrinkles from new curtains is pretty easy when you know how!  Read on for a quick guide.

What you’ll need

  • steam iron
  • a willing helper
  • de-wrinkling spray (available from good haberdashery shops)

How to do it

It’s important that both you and your helper wear long sleeves for this job to protect you from the hot steam and drops of very hot water that you might be exposed to during the process.

  1. First of all, hang your new curtains on the curtain rail, space the fabric evenly along the rail and draw the curtains closed.  
  2. Make sure that the steam iron is full of water, switch it on, and set it to its maximum temperature.  
  3. Give the curtains a generous spray all over with the de-wrinkling spray.  If you can’t get hold of any de-wrinkler, you can substitute it with clean, warm water dispensed from a plant sprayer.  
  4. Ask your assistant to hold the bottom of the curtains at the hem and pull them taut as you work.  Begin at the top of the curtain and hold the iron vertically, close to the fabric but not touching it.  Press the steam button on the iron so that the curtain is enveloped in a cloud of steam.  The moisture in the steam causes the fabric fibres to ‘relax’, thus removing the creases and crinkles.  
  5. Move the iron down to the bottom of each curtain panel, moving up and down along the curtains methodically, until all the fabric has been covered.  You’ll probably have to repeat the process several times before all the creases start to drop out.  
  6. You now need to leave the curtains for a few hours to dry completely.  Don’t be tempted to open the curtains while they are still damp, as the fabric may crease up again as it dries.

Fabrics such as cotton or very heavy damask can take several days to de-wrinkle completely after treatment.  Don’t panic!  All you need to do is to leave the curtains drawn closed and allow gravity to pull any remaining wrinkles and creases out.

You can quickly and simply remove creases and wrinkles from new curtains by following the guidelines given above.  In the unlikely event that the curtains stubbornly remain creased, contact the supplier for more advice on how to rectify the problem.

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Making life underneath the staircase

The space underneath the staircase epitomizes a haven of paraphernalia over smartness and order. Homeowners are acquainted with the sight- abandoned muddy shoes, school bags and all sort of clutter. It ought not to be that way. You can restore order and sanity into this space through the following creative ideas:

Bespoke cabinets 

As far as the space under the staircase is concerned, this is the right time to actually invest in bespoke cabinetry. Inside the cabinet, you can install a rail where you can hang several of your coats on hangers. This is a better option than when your coats are hanged onto hooks. Equally, several pairs of shoes can find a home in there.

Shelves

Another option is to mount shelves all around the area. You can store your vacuum cleaner, tool box and ironing board and slot in a door. That way, your cleaning supplies will be stored out of sight.

Drawers

Then again, you can choose to have a series of differently sized drawers designed to fit underneath the stairs. The smaller drawers should be fitted at the top and used for hair bobbles and gloves. Each family member should be given their own drawer for their personal post and clutter.

Workspace

Another popular solution is to use this space as a workspace. You can have a chair and desk or create a built-in study seat. Equally, you can use the shelves for book storage. This works extremely well if your staircase is in the main living area, instead of the hall. You can use the workspace to read newspapers, emails and work assignments on your computer.

Bike racks

You can also contact a contractor to set up sturdy hooks where you can hang your bikes. This will help free up valuable floor space and stop your bikes from falling over each time somebody walks past. Bikes aren’t the only item that can be stored in the space below the stairs. Some people love skiing and have several skis. Generally, skis are long are can’t fit underneath the bed. Therefore, you can convert the space underneath the staircase to store your ski equipment following many years of simply storing them in the corner of your bedroom.

Wine and champagne storage

Last but not least, you can buy bespoke storage for wines and drinks, which is meant to fit areas such as those beneath the stairs. The racks can accommodate all manner of wine bottles and champagne.

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Why You Should Choose a Metal Carport over a Wood Carport

If you are thinking about adding a carport to your property, you may be torn between metal carports and other conventional constructions such as wood carports. Metal carports are usually made of steel and offer numerous benefits compared to the other materials. Here are some advantages of metal carports and why they are preferable to other types of carports.

They are durable and fire resistant

Carports that utilize steel sheeting and steel frames in their construction are more durable than conventionally built carports. Steel is one of the most durable, sturdy and appealing metals you can use in construction. With a steel frame, you do not have to worry about termite infestation and compromised structural strength as you would with wood. What’s more, steel has high resistance to heat; therefore, you don’t have to worry about your structure catching fire or crumbling in scorching weather.

They have low construction costs

When using steel, the cost of labor and resources is significantly reduced. Since steel is fabricated off-site to the desired specifications, most components fit together easily without the need for structural modification. Labor resources, construction time and material wastage is reduced as a result. In the case of wood, a lot of on-site modifications are involved, which could lead to wastage of materials while increasing the risk of human error during construction.

They are easy to maintain

Metal is low maintenance compared to wood. Metal can be constructed with a galvanized frame system, eliminating the need for regular painting and finishing. Unlike wood, metal is not prone to warping or breaking. Metal can last up to a decade before any touch-ups have to be done. With wood, regular finishing, cleaning and maintenance are required; otherwise, you will have to endure costly repairs or replacement of carport parts.

They are versatile

Metal carports can be constructed in various sizes to protect all sizes of vehicles. They can also be used to protect jet skis and snowmobiles, or even as boat slip covers. If you live in the country or on a ranch, you can use a metal carport to protect hay or large agricultural equipment from weather elements such as rainwater and direct sunlight.

They are portable

Most metal carports available on the market today are portable. With a little effort, they can be taken down and moved from one location to another within your home. If you are the person that likes moving things around once in a while, a metal carport would be ideal for you.

Carports are ideal structures that can be used in the place of garages while serving the same purposes. Metal carports are superior to wood carports in many ways, so consider a metal carport instead of a wood one.

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A Guide To Planting and Caring For Bare Root Hedging

When you buy hedging plants and shrubs from a wholesale nursery, they often come as bare root transplants, rather than potted.  This makes them lighter and less bulky to transport, which makes life much easier for you if you need to purchase hedging plants in any great quantity.  But how should you go about planting and caring for your bare root transplants?  Here’s a quick guide on what to do.

Initial care

Before you can plant your hedging, you’ll need to prepare the ground, and this could mean that your plants will have to be stored for a short period of time, until the site is ready.

You can safely store bare root plants for a week or so, provided that the storage location is dry, cool and frost-free.  Your garden shed or garage would be ideal.  Just leave the plants sealed in their packaging so that moisture is retained and the roots aren’t allowed to dry out.

Preparing the ground

It’s important to make sure that the ground for your hedging strip is free from weeds and grass, which could leach valuable nutrients out of the soil and away from your new hedge plants.

Use a good-quality shrub planting compost to mulch the hedging strip.  For best results, dig the strip over thoroughly or use a rotovator so that the compost is well dug-in.

Planting your bare root hedging plants

Before you plant your hedging, it’s a good idea to prune about a third of the height from each plant.  Although this may seem a little drastic, pruning immediately will encourage the plants to grow more vigorously and bush out once they’re planted, meaning that your hedge will become established more quickly.

Look at the bottom part of the stem of each plant.  You will notice a dark mark around the stem that indicates the previous soil level at which the plants were last planted at the nursery before being extracted for sale.  Make a hole in your hedging strip that is no deeper than this mark.  Your wholesale nursery supplier will advise you on how much distance to leave between each plant, as the spacing will vary depending on the species of hedging plant you’ve chosen.

Place each plant into its hole and infill with soil, ensuring that all the roots are covered.  Lightly tread the soil down so that the plant is held firmly upright.  Water well every day for the first week or so, unless the weather is wet.

Care of your hedging plants

It’s really important for your hedging that you keep weeds at bay.  Weeds and grass will strangle the roots of the young hedging plants and will retard their growth rate.  You can keep weeds out by making a small margin on either side of your hedging plants and either hoeing it regularly to get rid of weeds or applying a layer of woodchip mulch.

In conclusion

You can ensure that your bare root hedging plants grow vigorously and successfully by following the care guide above.  For further advice on which variety of hedging plants would best suit your circumstances, have a chat with a company like Din San Nursery.

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2 Tips for Choosing a Solar Hot Water Heater for Your Home

If you like the idea of cutting down on the consumption of power supplied by your city’s utility company but don’t have the budget or space for full-size solar panels, you might want to consider a solar hot water heater. This type of solar panel is much smaller and usually more affordable than a full panel that sits on your roof, and it’s connected directly to your hot water heater. You will still need power from the city for your other appliances but considering the amount of electricity used by hot water heaters, you can still greatly reduce your use of this power and the accompanying bills with a solar water heater. When you’re ready to choose a solar hot water heater for your home, note a few quick but important tips to remember.

1. Active versus passive

A passive hot water heater doesn’t actually circulate the water in the tank; it works by the principle that hot water will naturally gravitate toward cold water so that the water in your tank circulates on its own, creating an even temperature. An active system will use a type of pump that circulates the water that is warmed by the solar panel so that it mixes with the cool water still in your tank, thereby creating an even temperature.

An active system will need another means of electricity to run this pump, so it’s not as “green” as a passive system. It also has more parts that can break down and need replacing or repair. However, a passive system will not always provide the most consistent supply of hot water. If you have a large family that needs lots of hot water at once or use a lot of hot water appliances such as a dishwasher and washing machine, an active system can be the better option.

2. Panel

Solar hot water heaters use a smaller panel than you would see for panels that provide all of a home’s electricity, but this doesn’t mean they can always fit on the roof of your home. If your home is very small or the roof has several gables, you may need to choose a panel that sits in the ground. This is also true if there is no part of your roof that gets lots of direct sunlight through the day. A standalone panel you place in the ground can be set up where it gets the most sunlight and will be free of obstructions and anything blocking it overhead.

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